Update: Hillary says we will not back down; WSJ: Deadly Blast rocks Peshawar after Hillary Arrives in Pakistan

Update: Laura Rozen at Politico has a full outline of HRC’s schedule on the ground and this week and it is incredible. In her fuller remarks after the bombings this morning, she specifically mentioned the women and children who were the target:

“These attacks on innocent people are cowardly,” Clinton said in a sometimes emotional press conference.. “They are not courageous. They are cowardly. If the people behind these attacks were so sure of their beliefs, let then join the politicil process. Let them make the case that they don’t want girls to go school, that they want to hold women back, that they believe they have all the answers. Let them make that case and see how far they would get. They know they are on the losing side of history, and they are determined to take as many lives with them as their movement is finally exposed for the nihilistic movement that it is.”

“Terrorists are very good at destroying, but they cannot build,” Clinton also said. “That is where we have an advantage. On behalf of the people of Pakistan to be effective, responsive, enduring democracy, we want to help you to do what you believe is best for your country.”Clinton offered Pakistan a $125 million energy assistance package under which the U.S. would help improve Pakistani electricity infrastructure. The funding will be aimed at repairing generation facilities, improving the overall effectiveness of local utilities providers, replacing inefficient tube well pumps and promoting energy efficiency, the State Department said.

Clinton also said she would co-chair a Pakistani-US strategic dialogue.

Hillary gets it.

091028_hillary_rozen

…Since touching down this morning in the Pakistani capital, Clinton has held a working lunch meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi; held a joint news conference with Qureshi for Pakistani and American press, just hours after some 100 people were killed in a huge blast at a Peshawar women’s market; met with Pakistani Prime Minister Ashraf Gilani; hosted a roundtable for Pakistani media at the U.S. embass;, gave out awards to impoverished Pakistani women and then was the guest of honor at a dinner hosted by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari at the presidential palace with some 300 other guests that stretched until 11:30pm.

And this is just Clinton’s first day of a week-long trip, begun after her 62nd birthday on Monday. On Thursday, her schedule in the cultural capital of Lahore includes a visit to a mosque, two town hall sessions with students and women’s groups at a university, a working lunch with the opposition leader Nawaz Sharif and his brother, a ceremony to mark the elevation of the U.S. mission in Lahore into a full fledged consulate and a round table with Pakistani Urdu media. She’ll then fly back to to Islamabad after dinner time.

The weekend brings rumors of possible stops in every place from Afghanistan to Israel and the West Bank before heading to a confirmed destination in Morocco on Monday.

This is Clinton’s fifth trip to Pakistan, her first as secretary of State. In each of her appearances today, she has conveyed a very genuine sense of heartfelt, personal connection to Pakistan and its assassinated former leader Benazir Bhutto, the wife of the current president. She’s also seemed in tune with the the struggle for democracy here, and with those Pakistanis who want to promote the education of girls and women’s empowerment but are now fighting a very deadly war against militant jihadists….

Just a thought, this is EXACTLY what Hillary said in the interview the other day, that we MUST defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan or it will destabilize Pakistan (which has Nukes). Wake up TOTUS! WE MUST DEFEAT THE TALIBAN.

When I question whether the U.S. really has vital interests in Afghanistan, she shoots back that if we simply leave and allow the Taliban to return, al-Qaeda “would come right back, and we’d be worse off in Pakistan.” She continues: “Despite how hard Afghanistan is, we have to make progress. And what we do and what happens in Afghanistan will affect Pakistan……

Update: HRC & Pakistan statement:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, both reacted defiantly to today’s attack in Peshawar, stressing that neither Washington nor Islamabad would be cowed by the increasing Taliban attacks. The bombing occurred roughly three hours after Clinton landed in Pakistan for a three-day trip aimed at soothing testy relations between Washington and its chief ally in the fight against al Qaeda.

“These attacks on innocent people are cowardly, they are not courageous,” Clinton told an Islamabad press conference alongside Qureshi. “If the people behind the attacks were so sure of their beliefs, let them join the political process.”

Clinton added: “This is a fight that can not be avoided.”

Qureshi denied that the Taliban strikes are being fueled by the increased Pakistani and U.S. military operations in the region. And he said his government would intensify its operations against the Taliban in South Wazirsitan and other parts of the tribal regions.

“The people who are carrying out such heinous crimes want to buckle our resolve,” Qureshi said. “You are on the run and we know that. We defeated you in Swat…and we will defeat you in South Waziristan.”

Clinton’s first day in Islamabad included strategy meetings with Qureshi and a dinner with Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari. She is scheduled to travel to the city of Lahore on Thursday.

Another close call for our Hillary. She was luckily not in Peshawar, but she is on the ground in Pakistan as the attacks are underway. This is the second time attacks have happened on the ground after Hillary lands in country in 9 months (the first the assassination attempts during her Africa tour). Maybe someone realizes she is the toughest person in Team TOTUS.  Hillary has no hesitation in calling the Taliban our enemy unlike Kerry. I think Obama’s FAILURE TO LEAD has emboldened our enemies.

peshawar

Reuters

WSJ:

A powerful car bomb ripped through a market Wednesday in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing at least 90 people hours after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Pakistan to smooth relations strained by terms of an American aid package for the key South Asian ally.Mrs. Clinton was meeting with officials in Islamabad, a three-hour drive from Peshawar, when the explosion went off. The bombing was the second attack to hit one of Peshawar’s crowded markets this month; it sparked a fire in the city’s Meena Bazaar that gutted many shops and left rescue workers struggling to reach those trapped by the flames and rubble, said officials and witnesses.

Pakistani television news channels broadcast images of the still-smoldering ruins of the market. “The fire started raging from shop to shop. People were burning,” said Riaz Ali Khan, a 43-year-old rickshaw driver who was near the market when the bomb went off.

The blast and ensuing fire killed at least 90 people and wounded more than 200, said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the information minister of North West Frontier Province, where Peshawar is located.

-snip-

There was no claim of responsibility for Wednesday’s attack. But suspicion quickly fell on the Taliban, who have unleashed a wave of terror strikes in Pakistan since Oct. 5, targeting everything from a U.N. office to the headquarters of the country’s powerful military.

Wednesday’s attack brought the death toll from terror attacks in October in Pakistan to around 300. The Taliban initially said the attacks were aimed at dissuading the army from invading a major militant stronghold in the South Waziristan tribal area on the Afghan border….

*Tom Petty courtesy of the333redwaster

October 28, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Hillary Clinton, Obama Administration, Politics, Terrorism.

2 Comments

  1. Reports of Mullah Omar capture abound while Team Obama rushes to apologize for Hillary taking a firm stance on protecting America, (even from our erstwhile ally Pakistan) « Moderate in the Middle replied:

    […] followed her trip to Pakistan in October when she was similarly strong in her stance on our position amid a country wracked by violence as bombs rocked […]

    Like

  2. Americans support more troops in Afghanistan 47/43 « Moderate in the Middle replied:

    […] Americans support more troops in Afghanistan 47/43 Tick Tock Barack. Make the tough decision, you wanted the job, now carry it out. We need more troops. As Hillary said today, this is not a fight we can avoid. […]

    Like

%d bloggers like this: